John Lydon To be Honored with BMI’s ‘Icon Award’

Sex Pistols Fragrance Hits U.S. Shores

John Lydon, the anti-establishment superstar who led Britain’s punk movement and sang about anarchy, is to be celebrated with the “Icon Award” at the annual BMI London Awards in London.

The former Sex Pistols frontman, who’s better known as Johnny Rotten, will be honored at a ceremony on October 15, recognition for his “unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers.”

In a statement BMI president and CEO Del Bryant comments, “John Lydon is a true icon whose influence on music, fashion and art has been felt around the world. We are very pleased to recognize his impact on popular culture and his outstanding musical contributions with the BMI Icon Award.”

Lydon's career has certainly been unique -- and controversial. For many, his is the face of Britain’s punk scene in the ‘70s. Lydon penned the Sex Pistols’ singles including “Anarchy in the UK,” “God Save the Queen,” “Pretty Vacant,” and “Holidays in the Sun,” taken from the band’s legendary -- and only album -- "Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols."

If there’s one defining moment from Lydon’s early career, it was his notorious appearance on Bill Grundy's sedate "Today" show back in 1976.

Flanked by members of the Sex Pistols, Rotten and his pals turned the air blue with a string of expletives. A public outcry ensued, Grundy’s career was in tatters and EMI was pressured to drop the band -- which the music company ultimately did. Today, it’s still an extraordinary outcome for what were a few naughty words on national TV.

Lydon left the Pistols in 1978 to form his own band, Public Image Ltd, which produced eight studio albums and a host of singles, including “Rise."


In 2012, Lydon and PiL released their first album in 20 years, “This Is PiL,” and hit the road in support of it.

Lydon will join an elite list of previous BMI “Icon Award” honorees that includes Ray Davies, Steve Winwood, Van Morrison, Donovan, Don Black and Bryan Ferry and Queen.